Photo credit: iStock

There is nowhere in the world quite like New York and it is a destination that everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime. One of the problems for many people planning a trip to the Big Apple is that they have been bombarded with images of the city through films, TV and magazines for so long that it can be difficult to know where to start.

Have no fear; the perfect itinerary for those with just two days to spare in the city is outlined below. If you have longer, you can complete it at a more leisurely pace or add in a few extra attractions to get as much out of this iconic city as possible.

Day 1

Fuel up for a jam-packed day

Throw yourself into the spirit of New York by heading to one of its most well-established eateries for a classic American breakfast. Tom’s Diner has been feeding the folks of Brooklyn since 1936 and opens at 7am, so you can get an early start to pack in as much as you like. However you enjoy your eggs they can cater to your tastes and if pancakes are more your style, you will also be in good company.

Visit the Statue of Liberty

If there is any sight more iconic of America than a pile of pancakes it has to be Lady Liberty herself and a trip to the island upon which she stands is a great way to remind you where you are. Taking the ferry is a quintessential New York experience and you will not just get to see the symbol of freedom up close, but also to look back at the Big Apple skyline and all its most recognisable buildings.

Take in some art

New York has no shortage of fantastic art galleries, but the Guggenheim Museum is particularly special as the building is a work of art in itself. Frank Lloyd Wright famously designed its round structure and you can slowly drift up the internal ramps taking in the pieces on display. Be sure to look out for standout pieces by Picasso, Seurat, Kandinsky and Degas.

Lunch at Sarabeth’s

Sarabeth’s may be a chain restaurant, but it is one of the better ones and there is a branch of it just five streets, or blocks as the Americans would say, from the Guggenheim Museum. Dishes include everything from freshly made soup or fried green tomatoes to healthy salads or huge burgers. Tuck in!

Photo credit: iStockWalk off your lunch

Nearby Central Park is another must-do New York experience, with plenty within the green space to attract attention. Stroll around and take in the likes of Strawberry Fields and the Alice in Wonderland statue. Visitors can also decide to hire a boat, ride a pony aboard the latest incarnation of the Friedsam Memorial Carousel or pass some time with the sea lions and penguins at the zoo.

Dine on authentic Italian food

After spending all afternoon in the park, visitors are likely to be hungry again and Marea is perfect to sate any hunger. It is located on Central Park South just off of Columbus Circle and serves up regional Italian fare and delicious seafood, such as clams and oysters. For those who have a particularly huge appetite, there is a fixed-price four-course menu.

Sip a cocktail and soak up the views

Reflect on your first day in New York with a cocktail at the Bookmarks rooftop lounge, the bar of the Library Hotel. From the 14th floor you can see a wide selection of the Big Apple’s life going on around you and the literary-inspired cocktails are well-made. The perfect end to a busy day.

Day 2

Brunch on Broadway

Brunch is something of a New York institution and a great way to start the day. Head to the Broadway area and enjoy hearty American classics washed down with a bloody Mary to really get the day off to a good start. Maggie’s Vintage Beats and Breakfast mix them fresh and strong, so be sure to pop by.

Photo credit: iStockHit the shops

While best known for its theatre, Broadway is also fantastic for shopping, with everything from chic boutiques to department stores like Bloomingdale’s to choose from. If getting your hands on an iconic Big Brown Bag is your motivation, then heading to “Bloomies” is an absolute must. Broadway is so long you can literally shop ’til you drop, so think about the types of stores you want to visit and have a plan to stop yourself getting overwhelmed.

Stroll in Madison Square Park

As an antidote to all that shopping, head to Madison Square Park, which is a short walk away. Here you will be greeted with beautiful gardens and a Shake Shack if you fancy recuperating with a decadent drink in one of many flavours. The architecture in the surrounding area is particularly interesting, with the highlight being the distinctive Flatiron Building, which most people will recognise from photos and films. It is of a triangular shape and has no fewer than 22 storeys, with its history going back to 1902.

Photo credit: iStockTake in a show

Broadway is home to 40 major theatres, so catching a show while in this part of New York should not be missed. The options are endless and it depends on your tastes, but popular choices include Chicago, Matilda, Les Miserables and the Lion King. When planning your time in the Big Apple be aware that Mondays are the day when most theatres take a break, so a night on Broadway should not be scheduled for the first day of the week.

Post Broadway supper

Bettibar on West 46th Street is a great place to visit after the theatre, as it is open until 4am and the kitchen closes just a couple of hours prior to this. Expect elevated American fare and delicious cocktails to round off your trip to New York in style. By the time you clamber into bed you will feel full of everything the Big Apple has to offer.

Upgrade to a multicentre trip

Being so well-connected in terms of transport, New York is the perfect place to include in a multicentre holiday. Combine it with a trip to some of the other great US destinations for a holiday you won’t forget in a hurry.

Hannah Morris Travel Consultant

Hannah has been with eShores for 7 years now , but has been selling holidays for the last 27 years. So, when it comes to travel experience, Hannah has it! Hannah is the free spirited one, she is an adventurous traveller, she likes to go to places where she can trek, explore, try the local delicacies and find somewhere to party! She has been to most continents around the globe so there are not many places she doesn't know about. If you are looking for a good chat with someone with knowledge then Hannah is a great choice. Whilst Hannah is always quiet and focussed when she's busy working, if there is fun to be had Hannah is the life & soul of the party!